Photo1: Participant Prisca Zeigler holds a black crappie caught during the Toledo Bend workshop.
|Photo 2: Participants were introduced to kayak fishing in Grand Isle, LA.||Photo 3: Participant Shalom Whitford learns to throw a cast net and catch bait fish during the Toledo Bend workshop.||
Photo 4: Participant Tammy McDavid poses with her speckled trout she successfully landed.
The LDWF Aquatic Outreach & Education section hosted two weekend-long Women’s Fishing 102 Workshops during late May and early June. During the workshops, past participants from Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops had a chance to put their skills to use with on-water fishing experiences. Throughout the workshops, LDWF fisheries biologists from Inland Fisheries, the Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab, and Outreach & Education mentored the participants in various fishing methods.
The first workshop took place at the end of May on Toledo Bend. LDWF collaborated with Louisiana State Parks to host the event at North Toledo Bend State Park group campsite. Participants arrived on Friday and received a quick refresher on basics skills taught in the 101 workshop including knot tying and rigging. The evening was spent fishing from the pier for bream and catfish. Saturday participants were on the boats for first light where they spent the day on three separate mini-fishing trips. Each trip focused on a different freshwater fishing style: bass, crappie, and bream/catfish. Sunday started with a bang as the front lines of a welcomed early-summer “cold” front hit the state. The participants did not let the rain stop them though; they donned their rain gear and spent the morning cleaning the previous day’s catch before heading home.
The next group of participants spent this past weekend in Grand Isle at the LDWF Fisheries Research Laboratory. The workshop had the same overall layout and lasted Friday evening through Sunday midday. The women rotated between two different inshore boats focusing on red drum and spotted seatrout, and a kayak trip where they learned the basics of paddling and kayak fishing in the marsh lagoons on the bay side of the island. On Sunday, participants were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Hatchery facility, followed by fish cleaning, learning to throw a cast net, and backing up a boat trailer.
LDWF strives to inspire people to enjoy the outdoors. The Women’s Fishing Workshops do just that by providing women with hands-on education and experience from trained staff and volunteers. The program is open to women 18 and older who are interested in fishing and conservation but have not had the opportunity to learn the skills and techniques needed to begin fishing. LDWF and its partners team up to hold several one-day and weekend-long workshops each year since the program’s inception in 2014, training over 350 women.
Those who participate in the single-day 101 workshops are eligible for random selection for the 102-weekend trips.
The Women’s Fishing Workshops are hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LAWFF). The LAWFF was formed to help expand and support LDWF education and research programs with additional resources developed through its own facilities. Encouraging support for LDWF programs is the major focus of the Foundation, accomplished by connecting people and businesses with Louisiana’s natural resources. For more information, visit www.lawff.org.
Women’s Fishing Workshop is funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Fund, a USFWS grant program that provides grant funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas fish and wildlife agencies for fishery projects, boating access and aquatic education.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. Help us protect your hunting and fishing heritage while preserving habitat, wildlife, and aquatic resources by purchasing your license at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email or text alerts signup here.